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Medtronic expansion to add 700 jobs in medical device sector


By Pedro Correa Henry

Twitter: @pete_r_correa

Special to The Star


Following an investment of over $50 million through a series of incentives granted by the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish acronym), Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, along with DDEC chief Manuel Cidre, announced Thursday that medical device manufacturing firm Medtronic is expanding with up to 700 new direct and indirect jobs for the bioscience field.


Pierluisi announced that, in addition to the creation of 575 new direct jobs (225 in the first phase and 350 in the second phase), another 200 jobs will be created in the construction and installation phases related to the new machinery.


“This new expansion of the Medtronic company is part of our commitment to continue supporting manufacturing, which represents 48 percent of our economy,” the governor said during the inauguration of the first phase of the operations expansion, which includes a new manufacturing section, along with of a photovoltaic panel farm, at the Juncos facility. “Likewise, in the face of the COVID-19 emergency, it represents an ideal opportunity to strengthen this important sector and promote the creation of medicines and medical devices.”


The panel farm will generate some 7,300,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually. Medtronic Puerto Rico Operations Vice President Rolando Vázquez said that translates into an equivalent reduction of 5,371 metric tons of carbon dioxide derived from fossil fuels.


“In this way, the company reduces its consumption of fossil energy, in addition to contributing to the care of the environment,” he said.


Government support, through the incentives granted by the DDEC, has been key to the development of this expansion project, which will begin its second phase of construction next week.


Cidre said the incentives under the Special Fund for Economic Development will be used for the creation and retention of jobs, acquisition of machinery, and equipment necessary for the manufacture of a new line of diabetes management products.


“The second phase of this expansion allows the transfer of part of the active sensor to Puerto Rico,” the DDEC chief said. “This consolidates the manufacturing of the entire next generation of glucose sensor products in Juncos.”


“This transfer, in turn, will generate an increase in the number of production line employees, generating a multiplier effect in our economy,” he added while calling for opposing sides to join forces for the island’s economic development.


“This operation demonstrates the capacity of our pharmaceutical industry to attract more production lines to Puerto Rico so that we can continue to increase the stock of medical equipment and medicines in the U.S.,” Cidre said.


Meanwhile, Vázquez emphasized that the inauguration of the new manufacturing area “is part of the commitment we signed for economic development with the government in 2019 to continue expanding Medtronic’s operations in Puerto Rico.”


“Despite the challenges during the pandemic, we were able to convert an existing office area into a manufacturing area,” he said. “The new manufacturing area consists of 11,000 square feet and an investment of millions of dollars.”


“This area will be dedicated to manufacturing the new generation of the continuous glucose monitoring sensor,” Vázquez added. “This innovative new product manufactured by Puerto Rican hands gives you a more complete picture of your glucose levels, resulting in better lifestyle decisions and improved glucose control.”


Since 1974, Medtronic, with operations in Juncos, Villalba, Ponce and Humacao, has manufactured catheters, pacemakers, medication pumps, as well as devices to treat various health conditions such as diabetes, spinal and cervical diseases, and trauma.

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